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Witches of Kolsk: The History Of Polish Salem And Medieval Witch Hunting

In Medieval times they really hunted witches, today only in games as Witcher

Photo: Ladies of the Wood / WItcher 3

The witch trials consumed thousands of victims, but some of the cruelest stories remain forgotten. In a small town called Kolsk, in Silesia, a small society accused of witchcraft and killed about forty neighbors. Most of the resources suggest that 39 people lost life due to the madness of witch hunting. Kolsk is well known as one of the towns where humanity showed their worst side. Silesia has always been under the strong affection of both Polish and German cultures.

During the second half of the 17th century, the fever of hunting for the people who practiced magic was still high. It was a small society, but the hateful thoughts dominated the history of the entire town. Those times Kolks was inhabited by about 200 people.

Disease of the noblewoman

The history of this cruel trial started when the wife of Johan Christoph von Kittlitz, the local noble, started to suffer due to the horrible disease. It was a time when Silesia faced economic problems, and Johan tried to be helpful to his servants. People liked him, so when his wife was sick and doctors couldn’t find the remedy to her problem, many searched for the reason of this unexpected disease. When the physicists couldn’t find the solution, someone asked the women who lived near the forest to try to help this poor woman. They came with herbs and mysterious recipes. Although Mrs. Kittlitz survived, her husband started to search for the reasons of disease. Step by step the society of Kolsk got closer to the conclusion – it was caused by the witchcraft.

The mysterious sabbaths

Everybody knows that witches used to meet during the sabbaths. One of the people who came to the house of Kittlitz’s trying to save the wife of the nobleman was Anna Villborn. She was the herbalist from the village near Kolsk. The wealth she gained was a reason of her fame, but also jealousy among the other people. Anna was the first accused of witchcraft by Mrs. Kittlitz. After long and painful tortures, Anna said that she hexed Mrs. Kittlitz. She was the first victim of this horrible story.

Tortures made him speak

One of the best sources of ”information” about witches in Kolsk was Adam Kubish, whose nightmare of tortures begun at the end of 1664. The violence of the people who accused him of practicing magic was very painful, so he started to speak. He confessed that at least a few dozens of people joined the witch sabbaths. Kubish wanted to stop to suffer, so he started to tell the stories expected by his executioners. He explained that the process of killing people by the witches lasted for eight years. Moreover, his words brought death to his own wife. His confession included 28 names of people who worshiped Satan. Although Kubish hoped that he will stop to suffer after these words, he died on a stake a few days later.

The relatives of Anna Villborn and Adam Kubish also became the victims of this irrational history. As the time passed by, everybody started to accuse the neighbors and the family members. People created crazy stories about others, so the judges listened to stories about neighbors who used medications from the devil, bad charms that made cows die or transformations of humans into animals. The process took a few years.

Katarzyna who stopped the madness of Kolsk

Katarzyna Kunert was 30 years old and arrived at Kolsk accused by her husband, who confessed that she was a witch. He explained that she told him about her profession, he saw many witches flying around their house. They tried to take Katarzyna on Sabbath, but he did not allow for it. When Katarzyna arrived at Kolsk, she explained her situation to marriage Kittlitz and judges. After her confession, judges decided to exorcise her. Long prayers and other rituals made her faint for a few times, but the process ended with the positive result. The parish of Kolsk decided that devil or demon left the body of Katarzyna.
They could finish the process finally. As mentioned, lady Kittlitz survived her disease, but the family sold the property a few years later and left the area of Kolsk. It seems that 39 victims of nonsense process brought too big remorses.

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